“In the electronic age of instantaneous communication … our survival, and at the very least our comfort and happiness, is predicated on understanding the nature of our new environment. If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in our self-induced . . . trance, we will be their slaves.” -- Marshall McLuhan
It’s inconspicuous, even humble, just about the size of a tall two-car garage off a parking lot, near the larger buildings that make up St. Michael’s College. On the summer day I visit, the diminutive coach house where Marshall McLuhan once worked has been temporarily cleared of most of its furniture and umpteen books. There is just a sole remaining intimation that McLuhan spent the last decade of his life working here (he took it over in 1968 and died in 1980): In the almost empty main room, there’s the chaise longue that the lanky man used to lie upon during his famous seminars, extemporizing fluently. By the accounts of people who knew him, he was one of the 20th century’s great talkers.